Dream homes, we all have one in our heads. In fact, it’s probably been in your head since you were young. You know the kind of thing we mean – what would you have if you could afford whatever you wanted?
Gold taps maybe? Or perhaps you’d love an underground pool with disco lights? Or is a helipad is the only thing that’ll make you dream home complete – only if you have the ‘copter to go with it, of course! Or does your dream home simply need an en-suite bathroom?
Well, our research* shows that we’re an easily pleased bunch, with 1 in 3 people giving an en-suite bathroom as the number one thing they want in their dream house. Indoor swimming pools, a summer house/garden room/conservatory and a walk-in wardrobe all come in close second, with 1 in 4 choosing one of these 3 options.
And that’s great, because these are all easily do-able. Well, the pool may take a little more planning and you’d need the space, but it’s not an impossibility.
You may think these things seem a little mundane, especially as a dream home can contain whatever you want. But, research has shown that a dream home is less about having the best house you’re able to buy, and more to do with how well that house suits your lifestyle and needs. Expert Amanda Talbot – the author of ‘Happy: creating joyous living spaces though design’, says, “A happy home is not so much about size as it is about attitude. We often try to pursue happiness by buying a bigger and better house or car but happiness is more about savouring the moment and putting love and energy into your home.” This goes a long way to explaining why people haven’t picked more extravagant additions to create their dream homes.
And, it seems that bigger is definitely not always better. There’s a growing movement of people who find that downsizing into much smaller homes is what created their happiness. If you want to know more, have a look at Small is Beautiful to see what can be achieved, if you want to go a little bit ‘extreme’.
Of course, you don’t have to go as far as that to see the benefits of living small. Just downsizing from a 5 bedroomed house to a 2 or 3 bed house, depending on the size of your family, would have definite advantages, which could include:
It costs you less – the initial cost, insurance and taxes will all be cheaper, plus you need fewer things to furnish it and you’ll have less space to accumulate clutter. And, the smaller your home is, the less energy you’ll need to heat it, which will cost you less and you’ll be doing your bit for the environment too. You’ll have more money freed up for you to spend elsewhere (dream holiday anyone!)
It takes less time to maintain and clean – this has got to be one of the biggest advantages, unless you simply love to clean. Just think what you’ll be able to do instead of cleaning, dusting, vacuuming. Of course, if you have three kids running around the place, making a mess all day long, it’s likely that you’ll spend the same amount of time tidying as you would in a larger house. Or you’ll just end up stepping over more stuff!
How to create your dream home
So, how do you go about creating your dream home without moving house? Well, the first thing you need to do is decide what makes you unhappy about where you currently live, so...
Walk around your home and make a list of all the things that make you feel not-quite-right.
Decide on how many of those things can be changed. How much work you want to have done, or do yourself, will affect this decision quite a lot, as will the potential costs and disruption of any changes. You may also want to think about which of those things will add value to your home.
Next you need to cost each project and decide on how you’ll pay for them.
Finally, get started!
Hopefully, if you follow this process, you’ll be able to start creating your dream home, without breaking the bank!
*OnePoll questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 21stNovember and 28thNovember 2014, of whom 636 were Scottish residents.
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